Fossils of oldest species of bony Triassic fish discovered in Yunnan Province for the first time
Published: Oct 17, 2021 05:37 PM
Fish fossil discovered in Yunnan Province Photo: Sina Weibo

Fish fossil discovered in Yunnan Province Photo: Sina Weibo

Fish fossils of a new species in the genus Peltoperleidus, a genus of bony fish from the Ladinian (late Middle Triassic) period species which were previously only found near Switzerland and Italy, was recently discovered in Southwest China's Yunnan Province, marking the first record of the genus found in Asia. 

Researchers found well-preserved fossils in Yunnan Province. The fossil is believed to date back to more than 200 million years ago, which it is 2 million years earlier than the species previously discovered in Europe. 

Observing the three fossils, the fish species had tiny, sharp teeth as well as distinctive scales. It is believed to have been a small predatory fish that bears the transitory characteristics of another ancient species from the genus Perleidus (ray-finned fish). 

By conducting researches on both the two species, researchers believe that the new finding can extend the geological range of Peltoperleidus by approximately 2 million years. 

"It is also a sign provided to us to further explore the paleogeographic allocation and distribution of the genus since we see it has been discovered in China when previously we only knew it existed in Europe," Yu Min, a paleontology researcher, told the Global Times on Thursday. 

The research team that discovered the fossil is from the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing. 

Beside of the ancient fish fossils, more than 20 types of fossils of aquatic vertebrates as well as other taxa from the same fossiliferous level including plants, invertebrates and other groups of bony fishes were discovered by the team in Yunnan Province, demonstrating the area's biodiversity since ancient times.